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If you’re parenting littles, you may assume that orthodontia is a problem you need to face far into the future. In reality, early intervention orthodontia is becoming more common and can have enormous benefits both for health and for self-esteem. Even when children still have some of their baby teeth, they can begin phase 1 treatment. Your pediatric dentist can perform an orthodontic evaluation to determine if your child may need two-phase orthodontia. 

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, Dr. Matt and Dr. Craven are experts on children and their dental health. They know the signs that indicate the need for early care and can refer you to a trusted orthodontist. At the same time, they truly have your child’s best interests at heart and will never recommend unnecessary treatment

To schedule your evaluation, contact your pediatric dentist today.

When should my child have an orthodontic evaluation?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children have their first orthodontic evaluation at about age 7. At this age, a pediatric dentist can detect larger issues with the face and jawbone structure. Early intervention can often reduce the severity of misalignment and shorten overall treatment time. 

At the same time, if you notice some orthodontic issues or just suspect that something is wrong, you can schedule an evaluation before this time

Who is a candidate for early orthodontia?

Your pediatric dentist may recommend two-phase orthodontics if your child has a problem with face or jawbone development. These problems can include more serious concerns, such as a cleft palate. But they can also include subtler issues that only a dentist can detect. 

If your child suffers from any of the following problems, he or she may be a candidate for early orthodontics:

  • Crossbite
  • Underbite
  • Teeth that don’t meet or don’t align properly when a child bites down
  • Excessive spaces between teeth 
  • Facial imbalance 
  • Missing or extra teeth 

What happens during Phase 1?

Occasionally, phase 1 treatment can involve a limited use of braces. More often, however, an orthodontist will recommend other orthodontic appliances to correct skeletal, rather than dental, issues. These appliances could include:

  • Expanders
  • Retainers
  • Spacers
  • Headgear (typically worn only at night)

What happens during Phase 2?

Phase 2 treatment will usually take place during the pre-teen or teen years, once your child has most of their permanent teeth. Phase 2 focuses more on the teeth themselves, rather than the jawbone. At this point, your pediatric dentist will most likely recommend braces. These can include traditional braces, as well as tooth-colored braces and clear aligners.

However, according to one study, phase 2 treatment may not be necessary after early intervention. Researchers at the University of the Pacific report that 42% of patients who received phase 1 treatment did not require additional care. For those who do require treatment, they often have to wear braces for a much shorter time than those who did not receive early attention.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Pediatric Dentist Today

To schedule your child’s orthodontic evaluation, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids.

Reach us online or call (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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